Swansea Ghost Town

Swansea Ghost Town, Parker: Address, Phone Number, Swansea Ghost Town Reviews: 4/5

Swansea Ghost Town
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Historic Sites • Scenic Drives • Ghost Towns
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The area
Address
Swansea Road, Parker, AZ 85344
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
23 reviews
Excellent
11
Very good
8
Average
2
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Mike W
Prescott, AZ5 contributions
The drive into Swansea was interesting to say the least. The first 1/3 is paved after a fashion. The next 1/3 is a dry wash bed. The last 1/3 is not a challenge for the faint hearted! Once arriving at Swansea, walking around what was a going, jumping mining community 80 years ago, you develop an understanding of the harsh life of the miner in that era.
Being near Yuma and Parker, the heat in the summer must have been horrific. There are many deep shafts or holes that have been covered with heavy fencing to prevent an accidental falling. Several buildings remain along with numerous footings of the buildings and equipment sites making up the original townsite.
The day of our visit, a man had set up 'camp' to spend the night in the isolation of the Swansea with total quiet and dark skies for amazing star gazing.
In today's easy life, it is difficult to imagine the extreme living conditions of the miner and there desire to chase the elusive dollar. The mine never made a profit but is an interesting trip into yesterday...
Written January 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jeannine S
3 contributions
As of 1/5/2019, site was well-preserved and labeled with signs. Very interesting, easy to view, paths well established. Access road more suited for 4x4 or ATV, we enjoyed the drive in on our RZR a lot! Great views, beautiful panorama as you come in to the area. You can walk around the smelter site and see the adjoining structures. Across the dirt road is the housing area, currently under restoration. Tailing piles and excavation tells the tale. Allow time to ride the many outstanding dirt roads near the area. VERY ENJOYABLE DAY. Weather in January 70’s and NICE !
Written January 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gwen C
Prescott, AZ599 contributions
Couples
It’s mind boggling to imagine how people found this place to mine in the early 1900’s. This old mining town is in the middle of nowhere desert 14 miles down a very rocky and bumpy not maintained and not very traveled dirt road. A 4x4 is a must! Side by sides looked like they handled the drive the best. The road it single wide for approximately 5 miles right before the mine area and travels up and down a very steep extremely rocky and rutted grade with sheer drops on one side.
Bring water and food so you can relax and walk around the pretty well preserved buildings and boarded up mine shafts in the area. You’ll probably be the only ones there. Very quiet and very desert beautiful. Definitely glad we went.
Written November 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

fw190a8
Cheltenham49 contributions
Solo
I noticed a few other reviewers mentioning "easy drive" so I thought I would offer my opinion: this is a very long drive from Parker, Arizona, and I found it quite challenging in a standard car.

It's about 30 miles, about 13 of which is on good, paved road, and then the remaining 17 is on dirt, which varies from good to very rough. This trip will take about one hour (one way) from Parker, maybe 45 minutes if you really don't drive carefully. This is possible if you take a standard car, but the rough parts are very slow going, and really not advisable if at all wet. There is no help available, and if you get stuck or break down, you're a long way from anything in order to get help.

A truck or 4WD would be my recommendation. I took a standard car and there are several places with deep ruts where the bottom of the car will interact with the stones. There are also very bumpy sections which, if taken too quickly, will cause the car to "bottom out" and scrape the underside.

There is also one bridge with an 8-ton weight limit! I would not expect anyone to attempt this in a vehicle over 8 tons: it's definitely not suitable for most RVs or for towing.

The directions are very clear and it's good to see such good signposting. From Shea Road outside Parker, there's a number of good signs with direction and distance to Swansea. It would be hard to go wrong, but make sure you have a GPS or phone with maps because getting lost would involve a very long trip on difficult roads.

There are no amenities here: it's a ghost town. There are no restrooms, there's no gift shop, and there's nowhere to buy water, so bring plenty of your own just in case. There is no entry fee and nothing to buy.

Everything is fully explorable except the mine shafts (for obvious reasons) and you're free to look around the town at your leisure. Everything is easily accessible on foot once you've parked up, but you do have the option of driving to most of the buildings if you prefer.

During my visit, there was nobody else around. I didn't see another person or vehicle from the time I left the main road, all through my visit, until the time I got back on the main road.

This town was (shamefully) vandalised and as a result, there isn't as much to see as there would have been, but there is a collection of worker houses, a couple of (covered) mine shafts, the ruins of a smelter and the manager's house, and the ruins of a dust collector, as well as loads of pipes, pathways and general debris.

Because this is a ghost town and everyone should be able to enjoy it as such, you need to be careful: don't drop any litter (take it all back with you in the car: there's no trash cans), don't move any objects and especially don't take anything away with you. Don't be tempted to write your name or any graffiti on anything: there's nobody around to stop this sort of thing, but it would ruin the place for everyone else. There is a special plaque (not part of the original town) that you can use to write on if you really feel the need.

Remarkably, everything is very well signposted when you arrive, and boards explain the purpose of each of the buildings (most of which are ruined) and what happened to them over the years, as well as a great history of the town.

You can definitely get a great sense of early 20th century life in Arizona from visiting this place, but it's fragile, and very remote. It gets extremely hot, so be prepared when you visit and don't be tempted to take anything away other than photographs. If you're sensitive to the heat, precious about your vehicle, or have an RV, or are wheelchair bound, this definitely is not a good place to visit.

That said, I was fascinated by this place, the history it has left behind, and the feeling of isolation and desolation you get when visiting. Provided you're not looking for a casual American tourist experience, and not put off by the above, it's a real pleasure to visit and experience this place.
Written April 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Steve S
Valley Springs, CA320 contributions
Family
We drove out to Swansea (AZ Ghost town) about 30 mi SE from Parker, AZ. Swansea doesn't have swans or a sea, it's an abandoned copper mining town, 30 miles from nowhere in the desert. Worth seeing!
Take Shea Rd off AZ 95 south of Parker to Swansea Mine Rd, then Swansea Rd. Watch for these turnoffs!
Written January 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ray S
Brea, CA1,061 contributions
Couples
I have been to a lot of ghost towns in the Southwest. This one is disappointing considering the distance on dirt roads. It is not a town, but a mining site.There are no buildings to see other than the workers cabins which have been restored and are clearly not original looking. Otherwise its a collection of concrete foundations of building long gone. Yet, for some who love this stuff it could be great.

Desert rats will like going there on ATVs and campers can camp there, no facilities. There is a BLM outhouse near the entrance.

Bring food and water, we got hungry for lunch and only had pretzels and beer (ok not too bad.)

Entrance from Bouse AZ (pop 1000) is a 27 mile dirt road. There are other ways in that are more paved. Like Shea Rd to Swansea Mesa Road. Still mostly dirt.

If you can find your way to Swansea Road you will get there.

A 2WD SUV can do it easily but watch for large dips. Max speed about 40 mph unless you can see way ahead. I would not recommend a car due to the clearance needed.

No cell service.

Enjoy the desert view with no signs of people or civilization until getting to Swansea.

Allow a half day for driving from AZ 95 to the site, visiting, and returning.
Written January 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Camille V
Downers Grove, IL39 contributions
Friends
This was a hard drive to see very little.
No signs of ghosts or anything else.
You need a rugged vehicle to drive the final few miles.
Written February 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

940brianm940
Phoenix, AZ8 contributions
Couples
Most Arizona ghost towns require four wheel drive to visit, but not Swansea. We went in our F150 2wd truck and there was a car at the town when we got there! I DO NOT recommend driving a car there because of the ground clearance -a 2WD SUV or truck is the way to get there. The mine shafts have been covered with solid metal grating so it is pretty safe. I would take little kids there without any worry though I would keep them close. There is a reason I call my grandkids 'monkeys' - they climb on anything. The various sites have nice markers explaining what you are looking at. There are picnic tables and barbecues available. A super nice day trip with great views along the way. There is a bathroom located just before you enter the town. There are more buildings here than other Arizona ghost towns I have visited and you don't have to spend hours on a skull numbing 4x4 trail to enjoy it. Drive out, see the town, barbecue your lunch and head back home - a perfect day. Yo could spend a couple hours just seeing all the sites in Swansea.
Written December 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HavasuRealEstate
Lake Havasu City, Arizona, United States108 contributions
Friends
This is a great place to marvel at the fortitude and grit it took to mine in the old west. This partially restored old mining town gives you a great glimpse into a lifestyle it's difficult to imagine. You can travel here in passenger car, certainly SUV or pickup truck. Its a long dusty road, but well worth the price of a car wash afterwards. There is plenty left to see and preserved to give you a good idea of how old mining towns existed. Imagine if you get there in your new car, how the heck did they do it in those old 1930 jalopies and trucks. Hard scrabble life , must be appreciated. GO SEE IT. Take Shea Road turn off hyw 95 just as you leave Parker Az. 1/3 mile past the Chevy dealership. then follow the signs. don't be shy, keep driving it starts out as pavement and eventually you'll see the signs for the mine sight. Go slow , enjoy the scenery along the way.
Written May 16, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

bsktjulie
Overton, NV50 contributions
Friends
Awesome place to visit! The road in is primitive but passable with two wheel drive. The drive is beautiful! Definitely worth the trip!
Written March 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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